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February 21, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-02-21

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Page 4-Tuesday, February 21, 1978-The Michigan Daily
hire 4braniiI
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 118 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
A new structure for MSA

Quintessential eloquenc 78

I OMORROW, for what must feel like
, the umpteenth time, students are
being asked to go to a polling place and
decide whether or not there should be a
major change in the structure of their
government, the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA).
t Only last November, students ap-
proved an amendment to the MSA char-
ter, changing the make-up of that body
and eliminating at-large representa-
tion. That amendment, although
passed, was later struck down as "un-
constitutional" by the government's
%entral Student Judiciary.
Wednesday's amendments are an-.
other attempt by MSA to make itself
constitutional, thereby satiating the
;Student Judiciary.
w As MSA currently operates, there
*re 18 at-large seats which are filled by
election, and 17 additional seats which
ire filled by students appointed from
each of the University's schools and
kolleges. The proposed structure would
e made up entirely of representatives
rom each of the schools and colleges.
eats would be filled through elections
eld by each school. A school would be
ntitled to one representative for each
150 enrolled students.
The Daily endorses a yes vote on this
mendment. The implementation of a
chool-by-school election would bring
SA closer to the students. Constitu-

ents would have a better chance of get-
ting to know their MSA representatives
personally, since the representatives
would be traceable to one school. What
is more, overall representation on the
body would be more equitable. Schools
and students would be represented
much more effectively.
A second amendment provides for
the direct election of a MSA president.
Currently; a leader is appointed from
among the ranks of the body. But in the
past, the political squabbling which has
gone on behind-the-scenes to provide
support for a candidate has been
disruptive to MSA. It makes more sense
to let students themselves decide on an
assembly President. Not only would
this eliminate the behind-the-scenes
haggling and make the government
more open, it would generate more
voter excitement around the time of an
election. We urge approval of this
amendment, as well.
With this Wednesday's vote on con-
stitutional amendments, one would
hope that MSA could finally be done
putting its own house into some kind of
effective order. If the amendments are
approved, government officers, as well
as members of the Central Student
Judiciary, should well be satisfied that
MSA is constitutional.
It is time to get on with the business
of government.

The senator glanced from the
hushed galleries to his quiet col-
leagues. Ignoring his notes, he
moved to the conclusion of his re-
marks.
"Never did there devolve, on
any generation of men, higher
trusts than now devolve upon us
for the preservation of this Con-
stitution, and the harmony and
peace of all who are destined to
live under it.
"LET US MAKE our genera-
tion one of the strongest, and the
brightest link, in the golden chain
which is destined, I fully believe,
to grapple the people of all the
states to this Constitution for
ages to come."
He sat. Cascades of applause
engulfed the Senate.

THERE ARE SMILES
T14AT MAKE "YW H APPY, ..

By Jim T'obin
S.. I determined to accept the,
determination of those com-
missioners making no deter-
mination ...

mined to accept the deter-
mination of those Commissioners
making no determination of in-
jury to the monochrome televis-
ion receiver industry as the de-
termination of the Commission
and to accept the determination
of those Commissioners finding
serious injury to that portion of
the industry producing
subassemblies as the determina-
tion of the Commission."
Says James Fallows, Carter's
head speech writer, "Our mission
is to see that whatever Carter
wantsto say is said as clearly as
possible. I think it's more appro-
priate to the time. Fifteen years
ago, the public responded to the
graceful artifice of noble speech.
People were less cynical."
And on the subject of
monochrome television receiv-
ers, at least, they may have been
less confused.
FALLOWS, of course, pro-
foundly misunderstands the
nature of excellent expression.
Carter's ad lib stumbling on the
subject of television receivers
notwithstanding, the stuff that
Fallows and his cohorts write for
the president is boring. Jimmy
Carter speaks like a middle-
management policy planner for
the monochrome television re-
ceiver industry, and he is going to
suffer politically because of it,
along with the thousands of
politicians across the country
who speak like him.
Why? Because none of the
myriad politicians who are run-
ning against the Establishment
again this year, nor Carter,
realize that they sound just like
the creaking, grunting bureau-

cracy voters are so weary of.
There, in the capital's plump
regulatory agencies, is the wit-
ch's cauldron of this evil.
From a recent Federal
Maritime Commission memo:
"Despite the distastefulness at-
tached to the announcement,
without more, of the time certain
appearance of the rate of return
witness, the time certain will be
grasped, not however, it is
reiterated, as a precedent."
Government bullshine is noth-
ing new, by any means, but the
'70s brand is of a deadening new
variety. It has no flair, no flam-
boyance, no hint of color or im-
agination. The old style, pompous
though it may have been, had just

The year was 1850. The senator
was Daniel Webster of Massachu-
setts. The issue was preservation
of the union.
The magic eloquence of legis-
lators like Webster is gone from
government now, lynched by a
Congress that has traded
metaphor and clear expression
for euphemism and the language
of bureaucracy. Eloquence, if one
counts official Washington as a
measure, has died of slow and
painful suffocation.
CONSIDER former Rep. Bella
Abzug of New York, who once put
this question to her colleagues on
the floor of the House of Repre-
sentatives:
"What is to be done with the
Skylab program concerning the
effect on putting into performan-
ce the Space Shuttle program in
terms of what would be neces-
sary to show an improvement in
the Skylab in order to put into ef-
fect the Space Shuttle program,
and also in terms of the time
'when we could put the Space
Shuttle into effect in view of the
fact that the Skylab program has
not been performing effectively,
and as it is'presently so doing?"
Jimmy Carter himself, despite
his vows to keep executive bran-
ch language crisp and clear, was
heard to make this rather curious
comment last summer:
"ON MAY 19, 1977, I deter-

while in Congress, Rep. Abraham
Lincoln once said, "He can com-
press the most words into the
smallest ideas of any man I ever
met."
OR THAT BORE YOu
14ROUC-H AND -HRoUGH4.,
Then there was Senator Henry
Clay, who one day encountered
John Randolph, a bitter political
opponent, at the foot of a plank
sidewalk that spanned a wide
pool of mud. Both wanted to
cross.
"I never step aside for scound-
rels!" bellowed Randolph, barg-
ing ahead of the diminutive Clay.
"I always do," Clay replied,
letting his flustered colleague
pass.
PEOPLE SUCH AS Lincoln and
Clay had an advantage over
people such as Carter and the
rest of us: they lived in a time
when most important communi-
cation was written, not spoken.
Decisions, questions,- and per-
sonal feeling were relayed not by
telephone and WATS line; but by
the letter. It is a crucial dif-
ference, and has a great deal to
do with the demise of eloquence.
The spoken word is cheap, forgot-
ten the moment after it is uttered,
and so the speaker can waste it
without much worry. The written
word takes a little more energy,
and lasts longer. It makes neces-
sary a certain commitment on
the part of the writer, and thus is
given more attention. In the oral
culture of the telephone, people
miss out on the good habits which
writing taught to Lincoln and
Clay.u
The eloquence of Woodrow
Wilson and FDR, of course, got
along all right with the telephone.
Perhaps we're all just plain bores
after all, our imaginations
atrophied by the monosodium
glutamate and sodium nitrite in
our systems. But Jimmy Carter
might do well to take heed of his
dullness. In 1980, a touch of elo-
quence might do him good.
0
Jim Tobin is a former Daily
co-editor-in-chief.

Selfishness over sludge

THERE ARE SMILES THAT
FILL' HE Ar WITH GLADNESS...
that - style.
TAKE FORMER Senator
Hiram Johnson ofhCalifornia.
"Mr. President," he once ex-
claimed on the Senate floor,
"During the past year, bellowed
from the hustings, tintinnabula-
ted over the radio, ululated from
a servile press, there has come to
us the objurgation of a recalci-
trant minority."
Or consider the representative
who, early in the century, regaled
his colleagues with this breath-
taking mix of metaphors: "If you
don't stop shearing the wool off
the sheep that laid the golden
egg, you'll pump it dry."
True eloquence has little to do
with big words for their own sake,
or with ostentatious syntax, or
even with the ponderous style of
an orator like Webster. It has
much more to do with using wor-
ds carefully, and dabbing their
points with thought and wit.
DESCRIBING a fellow lawyer

A NN ARBOR has become involved
in an almost childish dispute with
its surrounding townships over the
issue.Qf ,waste disposal - a dispute
whi& could create health problems for
to iEhip residents and delay construe-
tion on much needed sewage treatment
plant.
Both the city and the townships are
ip need of some method of disposing
sewage waste products. Ann Arbor
needs a location to dump its sludge, the
final waste product of sewage treat-
ment. The townships are searching for
a means to process the waste from
private septic tanks which serve rural
' residents.
The ideal solution to both problems, it
has already been determined, would be
for Ann Arbor to dump its sludge in the
numerous fields which dot the town-
ships, and for the townships to process
their septic tank waste through the
city's sewage treatment plant.
However ideal that idea is, the two
sides are holding steadfast to decisions
they both made previously.
Last spring, a U.S. District Judge
ruled that the city violated its Environ-
mental Protection license by exceeding
its dumping limits, as well as dumping
improperly treated sewage into the
Huron River. At that time, in order to
cut down on city dumping needs, Ann
Arbor City Council voted to prohibit any
further treatment of non-city sewage.
This meant that townships would not
be able to process their septic sewage
through the city plant. Public health of-
Y,

ficials say townships alone cannot han-
dle all of their septic waste, and with
increasing septage in the spring comes
the possibility of health problems for
residents. Other options for disposing of
the township waste have been ruled out.
due to distance and difficulty in trans-
porting the material.
Ann Arbor is now planning a new
sewage treatment plant which would be
used by the townships, but the city can-
not begin construction until it proves it
has an adequate location for disposing
of sludge.
The townships refuse to accept any
city sludge until they are allowed to
dispose of some of their septic waste at
Ann Arbor's sewage treatment plant.
Ann Arbor will not process any of the
septage without an agreement from the
townships to accommodate sludge.
Neither side seems willing to make the
first move.
Both sides have valid concerns. The
city fears if it accepts township wastes
for processing, it will exceed the fed-
erally-imposed dumping limitations
once more. The townships say they are
wary of city sludge dumping within
their boundaries because of possible
chemical contamination.
Yet if both sides were to join
together to solve each other's disposal
problems, it would speed the way
toward construction of a new enlarged
treatment plant. City and township of-
ficials will have to abandon their selfish
perspectives before both their needs
can be served.

THERE AR~E SMILES

ROME - Communists in this C o
NATO country have publiclyo
dropped their demands for a1
place in the Italian cabinet, but
they appear to be succeeding in
their plan to increase their power I a y s ,gv rmn '
men "asertatm. It aly's government
and influence over the govern-
Premier-designate Giulio An- By Michael Duff
dreotti, a Christian Democrat
trying now to form Italy's 36th Altho gh the Communists' de- set by a U.S. State Department
post-war government, has pro- mand for cabinet representation policy statement Jan. 12, which
posed a new cabinet of his own ended in defeat, Andreotti's new said the United States would like
party members that would ex- plan would represent a victory to see the power of Communist
elude the Communists once for them, because it would give parties diminish in NATO coun-
again. them another slice of power.. tries like Italy. Italy's Com-
A DEMAND by the Commu- Some political observers say that munist Party is the largest in
nists for cabinet representation is all they wanted in the first Western Europe.
helped bring down the govern- place. Communist leader Enrico
ment on Jan. 16. Andreotti re- BOTH THE Christian Demo- Berlinguer, emerging from one
signed rather than yield to pres- crats and the Communists have recent round of talks with An-
sure to give them a role in the agreed to the broad cutlines of dreotti, called the proposed new
cabinet. Andreotti's proposed solution. approach "an emergency pact."
But Andreotti's new proposal But Andreotti still must work out "WE ARE taking a step for-
calls for some form of parlia- a detailed agreement that stears ward and on this basis we believe
mentary majority including the a delicate middle ground between that a solution to the government 1
Communists and for the creation the more conservative elements crisis can be found," the Com-
of a new political body - again of his own party and the Commu- munist leader said.
including the Communists - that nist Party's need to satisfy an in- The Communists have made
would monitor the government's patient rank and file. consistent progress since they
performance in fighting unem- The prospects of a solution virtually stalemated the Chris-
ployment, political violence and along the lines proposed by An- tian Democrats in 1976 elections
other problems. dreotti would go beyond the goals by taking 34 per cent of the 1

tle advance for those uninitiated
in the complexities of Italian
politics but it was viewed as a
historical step here.
In return fortheir cooperation,
the Communists were given the
presidency of the Chamber of
Deputies and chairmanships of
key committees in Parliament.
Last July, after a year of ab-
stentions, theCommunists de-
manded- and won - another
step forward. The Communists
and four other parties keeping
Andreotti's government alive by
abstentions helped formulate a-
new government program with
the Christian Democrats - the
six-party pact."
That agreement kept Andreotti
going for another six 'months, but
dissatisfaction with government
implementationwofhthe pact and
desire for another political ad-
vance by the Communists ended
his government. The Socialists
and the Republicans backed
Communist demands for a place
in the government, and the Chris-
tian Democrats were faced with
the prospect of satisfying those
demands by giving up as little as
possible.
Andreotti apparently believes
his new formula meets those
criteria.
If he fails, Italy could face
early elections, a possibility pub-
licly opposed by all parties as
useless for breaking the
stalemate and dangerous in the
current climate of political
violence. If Andreotti succeeds,
however, Berlinguar's strategy
of a "step at a time" will have
worked again.
Michael J. Duffy is a
correspondent for The
Associated Press.

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popular vote, just four points
short of the ruling party.
The Christian Democrats star-
ted out demanding that the
Communists remain in the op-
position, as they had since 1947.
But the party that has ruled Italy
alone or in coalition since World
War II has been forced to g adu-
ally give ground to the increas
demands of the Communist,
TO FORM his last go-'
Andreotti had ihe
benevolent ab n of the
Communists instead of their
traditional opposition. The "for-
mula of abstantions" was a sub-

_

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